Voters in the Newcomerstown Exempted Village School District will be asked to approve a 9.2-mill renewal levy when they venture to the polls next Tuesday, May 3. However, the tax levy is not a new tax and it will not raise homeowners' taxes.

The levy was first approved by voters in 1991 and generates about $643,000 a year for normal operating expenses.

The administration has implemented the following in order to maintain the district:

* In the 2010-2011 school year, the school district eliminated two administrative positions, two teaching positions, two custodian positions, and cut a variety of other services. The total savings was equal to $543,127.

* In the 2009-2010 school year, the school district eliminated one teaching position and one custodian position. The total savings was equal to $129,388.

* In the last ten years, changes in insurance policies, audit procedures, and debt restructuring have resulted in large cost reductions. The total savings was $731,294.

* In the 2000-2001 school year and again in the 2003-2004 school year, the district eliminated more than five full-time and more than 12 extra-curricular positions that have saved the district hundreds of thousands of dollars each year.

* The district has cut jobs and programs that directly impact the students such as class size, gifted services, intervention programs, and co-curricular activities.

Renewal of the tax levy will not restore the cuts that have already been made to the district. However, it will help the district maintain what programs, services, teachers, etc. they currently offer.

"Yes, these are tough economic times. The key to creating a better future for our children is education. We need to work together to give our children the skills they need to succeed in the future," according to an informational flyer provided by the Newcomerstown Levy Committee, Molly Lahmers, treasurer.